Starting in the 2018-2019 school year, Missouri legislation requires districts to screen for dyslexia or related disorders (Section 167.950, RSMo). Districts will offer two hours of in-service training to all practicing teachers and will provide reasonable classroom support consistent with the findings and recommendations of the task force created under section 633.420.
Dyslexia screening indicates a short test conducted by a teacher or school counselor to determine whether a student likely has dyslexia or a related disorder in which a positive result does not represent a medical diagnosis, but indicates that the student could benefit from approved support. Support is low-cost and effective best practices, such as oral examinations and extended test-taking periods. This is not meant to be used to supplant or postpone the IDEA or Section 504 eligibility determination process should a disability be suspected.
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge. (IDA/NICHD, 2002.)
All students in grades K-3 should be screened yearly. Kindergartners should be screened mid-year as well as the end of year. Grades 1-3 should be screened at the beginning, middle, and end of the year. Any student in grades K-3 who transfers from a school within the state that has not previously been screened or any student who transfers from another state and cannot present documentation that the student has a previous screening must be screened.